India stands with people of Lanka: Jaishankar amid protests | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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India stands with people of Lanka: Jaishankar amid protests

By, Thiruvanathapuram
Jul 11, 2022 05:25 AM IST

Speaking to reporters at Thiruvananthapuram international airport, Jaishankar said India has always been very supportive of Sri Lanka and is “trying to help” the crisis-hit island. There is no refugee crisis as of now, he said.

India on Sunday said it stands with the people of Sri Lanka as they “seek to realise their aspirations for prosperity and progress through democratic means, values and constitutional framework”, with external affairs minister S Jaishankar assuring all forms of possible support to the island nation through its ongoing economic crisis.

India on Sunday said it stands with the people of Sri Lanka with external affairs minister S Jaishankar assuring all forms of possible support to the island nation through its ongoing economic crisis. (ANI)
India on Sunday said it stands with the people of Sri Lanka with external affairs minister S Jaishankar assuring all forms of possible support to the island nation through its ongoing economic crisis. (ANI)

Speaking to reporters at Thiruvananthapuram international airport, Jaishankar said India has always been very supportive of Sri Lanka and is “trying to help” the crisis-hit island. There is no refugee crisis as of now, he said.

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“We have been very supportive of Sri Lanka. We are trying to help and we are always very helpful where they are concerned. They are right now working through their problems, so we have to wait and see what they do,” he said.

On being asked whether India faces any threat of exodus from the island, he said: “There is no refugee crisis right now.”

The minister’s remarks came a day after anti-government protesters stormed embattled President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s official residence in Colombo and demanded his resignation over the country’s worst economic crisis in seven decades.

Throughout the day on Saturday, Sri Lankan soldiers and police were unable to hold back a crowd of chanting protesters demanding Rajapaksha’s resignation and blaming him for the situation.

Besides storming the President’s official residence, protesters also entered the private residence of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and set it on fire.

Neither Rajapaksha nor Wickremesinghe were in their residences when the buildings were attacked. Rajapaksha will step down from his post on July 13, the country’s parliamentary speaker said on Saturday.

Taking note of the developments in the neighbouring country, ministry of external affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said “India is aware of the many challenges that Sri Lanka and its people have been facing, and we have stood with the Sri Lankan people as they have tried to overcome this difficult period”.

“In pursuance of the central place that Sri Lanka occupies in our Neighbourhood First policy, India has extended this year itself an unprecedented support of over US$ 3.8 billion for ameliorating the serious economic situation in Sri Lanka,” he said in a statement on Sunday.

“...India stands with the people of Sri Lanka as they seek to realise their aspirations for prosperity and progress through democratic means and values, established institutions and constitutional framework,” he added.

Jaishankar, meanwhile, was also asked by reporters in Thiruvananthapuram the reason for his visit, to which he replied that there were several.

He said he is on a three-day visit to Kerala to spend some time with Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders and understand their working.

The party’s prospects are “very good” all over the country, he said. “There is no exception to it anywhere. But we will always try and keep working to improve the prospects,” he added.

In the recently-held national executive meeting of the BJP, in Hyderabad, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had asked leaders to set their eyes on the southern states.

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